Caught on tape: Man walks out of Beckley pet store with alligato - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Caught on tape: Man walks out of Beckley pet store with alligator

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BECKLEY -

A thief at a local pet store walks out with the most expensive and probably the most exotic animal for sale.  Imagine picking up a gator about a foot long and shoving it under your shirt to walk out of the store.


Surveillance video shows Monday night, July15, around 8:30 p.m. a black man grabs the 3 month old reptile from its cage and rolls it up in his shirt before he walks out.

Employee Anthony Williams said he went to feed the alligator Tuesday morning and when he didn't see it he realized this thing wasn't hiding under any rocks.

That's when they looked back on the tape and recognized another black man who they say is a frequent customer and already owns an alligator himself.

He told the employee he came in for food and distracted her looking around for some other things when the other man in a green shirt did the dirty work... and it appears as though there was a child with the two.

"Doesn't seem like the safest thing to do... I'm just shocked... Every business has to deal with shoplifting but I would just would not expect an alligator to be shoplifted," said Williams.

Williams said even though it was a baby gator, he sure wouldn't put it under his shirt.

"I mean I can imagine the boy probably got bit on the way out, it's just an awful strange thing to do," Williams said.

Store owners said the gator was valued at about $300.

If you have any idea who this thief might be or who the other man in the video is - call the Beckley Police Department immediately.